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The word has been uttered. Slightly prematurely you might think, but although summer feels a long way off, your skin needs to start preparing imminently. Especially, dare we say it, us Brits. Don’t get us wrong, we’re talented for many things - impeccable manners, irony, solving any problem with a cup of tea – but also possess an extraordinary skill for burning within seconds of so much as looking at the sun (then convincing ourselves it’s just a prerequisite to tanning and it will go brown by tomorrow).
It seems there’s more than our Celtic heritage to blame for this talent of turning pink. During winter, skin simply doesn’t need to be so resilient. Whilst harmful UVA rays can still penetrate cloud, overcast weather means they’re not as strong and subsequently, our skin doesn’t need to be so strong.
Have you ever wondered why you always burn on the first few days of a holiday? It’s because skin is shocked and the dermis structure isn’t strong enough to resist the sun like it is by the end of summer.
So we’re bulking it up now in preparation and after chatting to Institut Estherderm’s Education Director Isabelle Benoit, we have a countdown plan…
Two months to go
About the time… You start browsing for bikinis then panicking and booking into every body pump class going, is the time you need to address your dermis.
‘This supporting layer of the skin (which is deep down – you can’t see it) is the one that has to adapt to resist UV exposure that eventually causes wrinkles,’ explains Benoit. ‘As the dermis layer is quite deep, it takes up to 2 months before the effects are visible at skin surface, so get cracking now with a collagen booster serum. The Institut Estherderm Derm Repair Restructuring Serum uses peptides to boost collagen, which works like scaffolding to reinforce the dermis and prevent the top layer of skin from buckling into wrinkles.
1 month to go
About the time… You start reserving a cab to the airport and a kennel spot for the dog.
‘If you want to have an even, long-lasting tan, start exfoliating the skin about a month before,’ encourages Benoit. Shimmying along dead skin cells in advance will give skin cell newbies enough time to strengthen back up before you hit the sun.
Two weeks to go
About the time… You trot off for your pre-holiday waxing session.
Start piling on the SPF now! Giving skin a shield well in advance will increase its tolerance level and ensure it doesn’t freak out on the first few days of exposure.
One week to go
About the time… You get majorly excited!
It’s in sight! Packing has begun and passports are ready – now start glugging green juice like water and piling an antioxidant serum onto your skin. By both feeding skin topically and internally with anti-oxidants it can fight free radicals and stop them from causing damaging and ageing.
Now we’ll put our scarf, woolly hat, gloves, and trench coat on to grab a coffee – our skin might be getting ready for summer but we very much feel we’re still in winter!